T Nation

Why Thin People Aren't Fat

I watched this documentary on why some people can’t seem to get fat. At around 49 minutes into the video, when they talk about the results for the asian guy, I found it interesting how rather than gain fat the dude gains muscle mass. They further claim that it’s because the guy has a genetic deposition to store extra weight as muscle rather than fat. Just wanted to know your guys think about this claim.

Here’s the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPsKpnu0-X4&feature=player_embedded

Yes, some people have faster metabolisms than others and have more trouble gaining weight. I didn’t know that this was news?

Some people put on fat, some people put on muscle, some people stay the same. Everyone’s different.

[quote]gregron wrote:
Yes, some people have faster metabolisms than others and have more trouble gaining weight. I didn’t know that this was news?

Some people put on fat, some people put on muscle, some people stay the same. Everyone’s different.[/quote]

I’m actually starting to question the notion of fast vs slow metabolism.

I think it may actually come down to how people’s bodies respond to a higher caloric intake.

Whether theirs speeds up faster to compensate or some other action.

For example, I have a MedGem (claims highly accurate), 5 yrs ago my RMR was 2,220 at the bodyweight I’m at now. 3 yrs ago I was a touch heavier and it was 1800, now at the same weight as 5 yrs ago, it’s 1470.

yet, I still can pack away a lot of food and have trouble gaining weight.

FWIW anyways, my opinion isn’t just based upon the RMR readings

[quote]jehovasfitness wrote:

[quote]gregron wrote:
Yes, some people have faster metabolisms than others and have more trouble gaining weight. I didn’t know that this was news?

Some people put on fat, some people put on muscle, some people stay the same. Everyone’s different.[/quote]

I’m actually starting to question the notion of fast vs slow metabolism.

I think it may actually come down to how people’s bodies respond to a higher caloric intake.

Whether theirs speeds up faster to compensate or some other action.
[/quote]

Isn’t that kinda the basic premis behind a fast and slow metabolism? Lol

Speeds up faster to compensate for higher cals = fast metabolism

Doesn’t speed up to compensate for higher cals = slow metabolism

It could be as simple as the asian guy has extremely high insulin sensitivity in his muscle tissue. When insulin is abundant, which you are likely to see with a high caloric intake. Muscles suck up a lot of the excess and grow.

Or it could be incredibly complex involving tons of different hormones T, E, IGF-1, insulin, prolactin, thyroid, cortisol, etc, etc.

My guess is on the latter.

Some guys are going to eat fairly crappy, train fairly crappy, and still develop a good physique.

Some guys are going to eat really well, train really well, and develop “only” a good physique.

Life ain’t fair, but everyone can improve.

there’s definitely a big continuum for how people respond to carbs

[quote]gregron wrote:

[quote]jehovasfitness wrote:

[quote]gregron wrote:
Yes, some people have faster metabolisms than others and have more trouble gaining weight. I didn’t know that this was news?

Some people put on fat, some people put on muscle, some people stay the same. Everyone’s different.[/quote]

I’m actually starting to question the notion of fast vs slow metabolism.

I think it may actually come down to how people’s bodies respond to a higher caloric intake.

Whether theirs speeds up faster to compensate or some other action.
[/quote]

Isn’t that kinda the basic premis behind a fast and slow metabolism? Lol

Speeds up faster to compensate for higher cals = fast metabolism

Doesn’t speed up to compensate for higher cals = slow metabolism [/quote]

Fair point, not totally. Essentially, ones metabolism may change based upon intake.

To be honest, I have more questions about this topic than I have answers, and I like to think I have a good understanding already.

[quote]RampantBadger wrote:
there’s definitely a big continuum for how people respond to carbs [/quote]

I live in Asia where they eat lots of rice and noodles and I don’t see very many fat people.

I come from northern European stock, like many of us I guess, and many of us are prone to save every calorie we eat to ward off the cold.

Some people are the kind that can eat all kinds of junk and maybe even in large quantities and not gain much, and the same amount of food they eat would possibly make a larger person get even fatter.
I never liked the skinny guy at that says he’s that way because he works hard and isn’t lazy. Yet I also don’t like the very obese person that says they tried everything and it didn’t work.

[quote]Nards wrote:

[quote]RampantBadger wrote:
there’s definitely a big continuum for how people respond to carbs [/quote]

I live in Asia where they eat lots of rice and noodles and I don’t see very many fat people.

I come from northern European stock, like many of us I guess, and many of us are prone to save every calorie we eat to ward off the cold.

Some people are the kind that can eat all kinds of junk and maybe even in large quantities and not gain much, and the same amount of food they eat would possibly make a larger person get even fatter.
I never liked the skinny guy at that says he’s that way because he works hard and isn’t lazy. Yet I also don’t like the very obese person that says they tried everything and it didn’t work.[/quote]

Yep, Asians definitely seem to tolerate rice a bit better.
Also a nice thing I noticed when passing through the far east is that you don’t constantly come across woman who have to have their daily chocolate fix etc and that its ok to finish off a meal with a cup of tea and not 7 tonnes of sugary crap

[quote]RampantBadger wrote:

[quote]Nards wrote:

[quote]RampantBadger wrote:
there’s definitely a big continuum for how people respond to carbs [/quote]

I live in Asia where they eat lots of rice and noodles and I don’t see very many fat people.

I come from northern European stock, like many of us I guess, and many of us are prone to save every calorie we eat to ward off the cold.

Some people are the kind that can eat all kinds of junk and maybe even in large quantities and not gain much, and the same amount of food they eat would possibly make a larger person get even fatter.
I never liked the skinny guy at that says he’s that way because he works hard and isn’t lazy. Yet I also don’t like the very obese person that says they tried everything and it didn’t work.[/quote]

Yep, Asians definitely seem to tolerate rice a bit better.
Also a nice thing I noticed when passing through the far east is that you don’t constantly come across woman who have to have their daily chocolate fix etc and that its ok to finish off a meal with a cup of tea and not 7 tonnes of sugary crap
[/quote]

From the other night: “I only drink sugar free redbull and diet coke”, said while eating a brownie with a side of ice cream.

I’m Asian.

I wouldn’t say that I’ve been obese before, but I’ve definitely been “overweight.” At 5’6" and about 205lbs of bodyweight, with no training history to speak of. At the time, I was actually a competitive video gamer and spent most of my free time playing WoW. While a non-Asian with a similar diet and lifestyle may’ve gotten a lot bigger than me, he probably would’ve started out bigger too (before I started to get fat, I was 118lbs).

Now as a lifter, I don’t really get fat despite what I eat and have a hard time gaining weight overall. But I wouldn’t say that I’m genetically prone to not get fat. I’ve been skinny as a twig, quite large and squishy (seriously, I was always the “fat Asian guy” for those years to my friends and others), and I’ve been muscular/fit. I’m not an ectomorph, nor am I an endomorph. I’d hesitate to call myself a mesomorph either, honestly.

While I agree that genetics play a role in all of this, I’d say that training, diet and lifestyle are ultimately more responsible for one’s physique. My brother is 5’10" and 110lbs… he looks emaciated. My thumbs are thicker than his shins. And he thinks he eats a lot (so do most other people), but I know he eats once a day, twice at most. So he takes in like… 1400 calories in one sitting which looks like a lot, but that might be all he eats all day or he might get 1800 calories total from a snack later.

Basically, I don’t buy the idea that a body will convert excess energy into muscular gains without the appropriate stimulus to make it necessary.